On This Day March 4

Musical Milestones

1963 – The Beach Boys release “Surfin’ U.S.A.,” which climbs as high as No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart. The The song features Brian Wilson’s lyrics set to the music of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

1966 – During an interview with the British newspaper London Evening Standard, John Lennon says of The Beatles: “We’re more popular than Jesus now.” The remark sets off an international furor when reprinted a few months later in an American teen magazine, with some radio stations refusing to play Beatles records and others burning them.

1967 – “Beggin’,” the 33rd hit single for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, lands on the Billboard pop chart, eventually climbing to No. 16.

1967 – “Ruby Tuesday,” by The Rolling Stones, begins a week as the No. 1 single. Brian Jones plays recorder on the track while the double bass is played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman pressing the strings against the fingerboard and Keith Richards bowing the strings.

1978 – Andy Gibb sails to the top of the singles chart with “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water.” The song remains at No. 1 for two weeks.

1989 – Debbie Gibson starts a three-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Lost in Your Eyes.”

1995 – Madonna is in the midst of a seven-week ride at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Take a Bow,” off her “Bedtime Stories” album.

2000 – Nashville-based country music band Lonestar claims the top spot on the pop chart with “Amazed.” The single holds at No. 1 for two weeks.

2006 – “Check on It,” by Beyoncé featuring Slim Thug, begins its fifth and final week as a No. 1 single. 

History Highlights

1925 – The second inauguration of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge is the first to be nationally broadcast. More than 20 radio stations carry the event to an estimated 23 million listeners, including many children whose school auditoriums were specially equipped with speakers. 

1933 – During the height of the Great Depression, an estimated 150,000 spectators gather on the east grounds of the U.S. Capitol as Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd U.S. president. FDR tells Americans, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

1933 – Newly inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor, making her the first female member of the U.S. cabinet.

1960 – Actress Lucille Ball divorces her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz, after 20 tumultuous years of marriage. The breakup of the couple, stars of the hit sitcom “I Love Lucy” and owners of Desilu Studios, becomes one of the highest-profile divorces in American history at that time.

1974 – People magazine makes its debut on American newsstands, featuring actress Mia Farrow on the cover.

1989 – Time, Inc. and Warner Communications announce plans to merge into the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate. 

1994 – Comedic actor John Candy (“Splash,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “Uncle Buck,” “Home Alone”) dies of a heart attack at 43 while filming a movie in Mexico.

2005 – Billionaire mogul Martha Stewart is released from a federal prison in West Virginia after serving five months and paying a $30,000 fine for lying and obstructing justice in a 2001 stock sale. Stewart serves five months of home confinement at her Bedford, New York estate and then faces two years probation.

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Hot Rocks 1964-1971

The Rolling Stones

Bedtime Stories

Madonna

Uncle Buck

Starring John Candy and directed by John Hughes

The Martha Rules

Martha Stewart

Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Violin Concertos)

Itzhak Perlman with the London and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras

Beetlejuice

Starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Catherine O’Hara, and directed by Tim Burton

On this Day August 12

Musical Milestones

1960 – The Silver Beatles become The Beatles, and on this day, the newly renamed band hires Pete Best as drummer. Two years later, he is fired and replaced by Ringo Starr.

1964 – The Beatles’ first film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” opens in 500 U.S. theaters to rave reviews.

1966 – The Beatles’ final U.S. tour begins with two performances at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago. During a pre-show press conference, reporters challenge John Lennon to explain his recent boast that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ.

1967 – The Doors close out three weeks on top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Light My Fire.” About a month later, the band performs the song before a national audience on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1978 – “Three Times a Lady,” by the Commodores featuring Lionel Richie, is the No. 1 single.

1985 – Japanese singer-actor Kyu Sakamoto is killed at the age of 43 in the crash of a Japan Airlines jetliner outside Tokyo. Sakamoto was the first Asian recording artist to have a No. 1 hit in the U.S.: “Sukiyaki” in June of 1963, which sold more than 13 million copies worldwide.

1995 – TLC is in the midst of a seven-week domination of the singles chart with “Waterfalls.”

2000 – “Incomplete,” by Sisqó, begins a two-week run on top of the Billboard Hot 100.

2009 – Legendary guitarist Les Paul dies of pneumonia at age 94. Paul designed one of the first solid-body electric guitars, which went on sale in 1952 and was “instrumental” in the development of rock ‘n roll. He also pioneered other recording innovations such as multi-track recording and overdubbing.

History Highlights

30 B.C. – Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

1851 – Business tycoon Isaac Merritt Singer patents the sewing machine.

1939 – “The Wizard of Oz,” starring Judy Garland and featuring words and music by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Harold Arlen, makes its world premiere at the Strand Theatre in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.

1963 – The first 1964 Ford Thunderbird rolls off a Detroit assembly line. 

1977 – Space Shuttle Enterprise passes a critical test as it separates from the top of a 747 for its first free flight and makes a smooth landing in the Mojave Desert. 

1981 – IBM takes the wraps off the first personal computer (the IBM 5150) with a price tag starting at $1,565. That includes the system unit, a keyboard and color/graphics capability. It costs more for options including a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, a game adapter and application packages — including one for text processing. 

1990 – Digging on a cliff near Faith, South Dakota, paleontologist Susan Hendrickson unearths three huge bones that turn out to be part of the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton ever discovered — a 67 million-year-old specimen dubbed Sue, after its discoverer.

2014 – Lauren Bacall, the smoky-voiced movie legend who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in “To Have and Have Not,” dies at the age of 89. Bacall made more than 40 films during a 70-year career, including “The Big Sleep,” “How to Marry a Millionaire” and “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

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A Hard Day's Night

The Beatles

The Definitive Collection

The Commodores

Singer and the Sewing Machine: A Capitalist Romance

Ruth Brandon

Father, Son & Co.: My Life at IBM and Beyond

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Peter Petre

Adventures in the Screen Trade

William Goldman

Neck and Neck

Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins